Arts & Culture Activities

Number of people who attended the following: Eating/Drinking	28. Procession/Parade	20. Gallery or museum	16.
Festival	17.
Public art	13.
Lion dancing	16.
Traditional craft	13.
Library	14.
Film/movie	11.
Nightlife/bars clubs	12.
Games	8.
Writing/poetry/literary arts	8.
Dance	8.
Language learning	9.
Bookstore	11.
Live music/DJ	10.
Family association	9.
Ceremony	7.
Place of worship	9.
Theater/opera	8.
Martial arts	5.
Anime, comics	4. // Number of people who created or participate in the following: Eating/Drinking	7.
Procession/Parade	6.
Gallery or museum	8.
Festival	7.
Public art	5.
Lion dancing	2.
Traditional craft	7.
Library	7.
Film/movie	5.
Nightlife/bars clubs	5.
Games	7.
Writing/poetry/literary arts	9.
Dance	7.
Language learning	7.
Bookstore	2.
Live music/DJ	5.
Family association	5.
Ceremony	5.
Place of worship	2.
Theater/opera	3.
Martial arts	3.
Anime, comics	2

We framed this question so contributors would consider a wide range of arts and culture activities in SF Chinatown—not just those presented or sanctioned by institutions.

We also asked contributors to write-in other arts and culture activities not listed here.

I have attended many funerals, and although those are not happy times, they are traditions, from the service, to the parade, to the burials and cremations, and finally the important traditional meal that follows the services. —Natalie Shew

Most popular activities to attend

  • eating/drinking
  • processions/parade
  • festival
  • gallery/museum
  • lion dancing

Contributors were most likely to have created or participated in

  • writing/poetry/literary arts
  • gallery/museum

While few contributors actively created or participated in lion dancing, many have attended lion dances. Perhaps this is due to ineherent characteristics: the unmistakable sound of drumming and firecrackers can attract passersby from distant blocks, while visually-engaging costumes and physical feats of balance and coordination are rare, unique, entertaining, and enjoyable to watch.

Writing/poetry/literary arts is the only activity where contributors’ rates of creation or participation exceeded the rate of attendance. Whereas some other artistic disciplines may require specialized learning, storytelling is foundational to culture, and there appears to be a widespread comfort with writing as a mode of expression.

Favorite Art & Culture Activities

We asked contributors to share their top three activities. Many of these—eating and drinking, walking and seeing the sights, listening to the sounds of the neighborhood, and shopping for groceries on Stockton Street—are illustrated in the comic book.

For some contributors, arts and culture are pervasive in Chinatown—a characteristic or gestalt of the neighborhood as a whole.

It’s hard to pinpoint but it’s literally ‘everywhere.’ Chinatown is so rich in history that its past and contemporary cultures often enrich each other and continue to spark inspiration for me. Every site has a story, and every place is dynamic and living. That’s the culture that’s both rooted and everchanging. —Hoi